My daughter was home from school with an ear infection on friday. After a trip to the doctor we were sent to the pharmacy to pick up an antibiotic. I was trying to insert my credit card into the chip reader while contemplating how she had made it through close to six years without ever having to ingest an antibiotic and now having two within six months. A high pitched voice chirped “I LOST MY TOOTH!!!” My daughter had finally shed her first baby tooth, the one that has been wiggling around for ten days, refusing to pop out. The cashier quickly got me a baggie for the tooth while I finished paying for our drugs. She asked my daughter if she was going to put her tooth under her pillow for the tooth fairy. After Riley told her she was indeed going to cash in her tooth for some cold hard cash, the nice woman gave her a dollar and said “here, you got your first tooth money from the cashier”. I think we have come full circle from my experience at Target the other day.
At home that night we went through our normal nightly rituals, and when the last page of our book was done I retrieved her tooth to place under her pillow. She rolled over pushing the baggie back at me and said “Not tonight.” Her dad quickly stepped in to tell her that the tooth fairy needed the tooth to bring to a baby. I had never heard this line before but it was not the time to question where this baby factory was and why these poor babies were being assembled with used teeth. It didn’t matter. She had made up her mind she was not relinquishing that tooth just yet. We left her to fall asleep sans tooth.
The next day she didn’t want to discuss her tooth. When asked if she was going to put it under her pillow she said “we’ll see”. I’m not sure if she thinks teeth appreciate in value or if she is showing an interest in keeping it so the tooth fairy will think it’s more valuable than the other teeth on the market, but she was not ready to make a deal. I dropped the subject until Grandpa came to babysit. He told her a story about being a little boy and folding his tooth up in a tissue for the tooth fairy. He said that he tucked it under the edge of his pillow and tried to stay awake to catch her. He didn’t catch her, and in the morning there was a quarter under his pillow where the tissue had been. Leave it to the Old Man to teach her a lesson in a story – don’t try to outsmart the tooth fairy or she will only leave you a quarter.
Saturday night, after a story from Grandma, tucking in from Mom and Dad and a tissue from Grandpa, my kid was finally coaxed into putting her tooth under her pillow. She brought her five dollar bill to me the next morning and confessed “I felt under my pillow before it was morning and this was there”. I guess the tooth fairy gets her work done well before dawn these days.